Wood IS THE Freedom Fuel!

@tcholton717, @SteveUnruh

You’ll find a sketch of my system and a video I made 5 years ago in post 34 and 35 of this thread.


We are here Drax is across the Atlantic . We are selling wood pellets . If we were selling more natural gas , prices would go up . I do not see wood as an energy source and see no obstacle to Natural Gas . eventually the price of Natural Gas goes up .

A new report by Spatial Informatics Group, LLC (SIG), commissioned by the Southern Environmental Law Center and the National Wildlife Federation, takes a closer look at the carbon profile of wood pellets produced at Drax’s three U.S. wood pellet mills.3 Building on previous studies, SIG conducted a carbon life-cycle assessment tailored to Drax’s presumed wood sourcing for these mills.i SIG found that the accumulated emissions of burning wood pellets from these mills to produce electricity in the UK increases carbon pollution in the atmosphere for more than 40 years,ii well beyond the timeframe identified by the IPCC as critical for carbon reduction.
The evidence is clear—burning wood pellets for large-scale electricity-only generation is bad for the climate. According to SIG’s new report, the life-cycle carbon impact of burning wood pellets manufactured at Drax’s three U.S. mills exacerbates climate change for more than four decades at a time when countries must rapidly decarbonize their energy systems—and well beyond the timeframes relevant for averting the most dangerous consequences of climate change. Against the backdrop of the IPCC’s urgent warnings, burning forest biomass cannot be part of the solution to climate change.
Rather than continuing to subsidize burning wood pellets for electricity, countries like the UK must focus on transition­ing to genuine, zero-emission renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, and protecting and expanding forests. The UK government, however, has diverted funds away from these true renewables in favor of providing hundreds of millions of pounds of subsidies each year to biomass. Given SIG’s findings, these subsidies are not aligned with current science on reduc­ing carbon pollution regardless of how the forest-derived biomass is sourced. The UK government should immediately end subsidies for biomass used in large-scale electricity-only generation and redirect that support to genuine clean energy produc­tion like solar and wind.

All economic sectors consume natural gas.
Combustion of natural gas emits about half as much carbon dioxide as coal and 30 percent less than oil, as well as far fewer pollutants, per unit of energy delivered.
Opportunities and Shortcomings of Natural Gas
Technological advances have greatly increased U.S. natural gas production, keeping prices historically low and spurring many electric utilities and industrial companies to switch from coal to natural gas. To a lesser extent, policies have also played a role in the shift to natural gas. Because burning natural gas yields fewer carbon dioxide emissions than burning coal (one-half) or petroleum (one-third less), the transition to natural gas has accounted for much of the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. electric sector in recent years. Renewable electricity policies have also contributed to emission reductions. As of 2019, natural gas is responsible for 38 percent of U.S. electricity generation, making it the largest electricity source in the country.

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I have experience with a lot of natural fuels. Wood is king - in my book.

Yes, down draft wood boilers do work. About 30+ years ago, Dad (with some help from me) supplied a bed and breakfast with fire wood. They had a batch down draft boiler and it worked as advertised. Heated the whole place and it was an old mansion.


Great JeffD, That you are better, and readin’, thinking, and chiming in.

Now tell me about that systems chimney. The actual pumping heart of the heat making end of it.
How tall: fire box to cap?
Inside diameter?
Construction material? Says how heat retaining it is. Brick versus metal.
You know . . . the other half of any good safe natural drawn system.
Down draft for heating; and half the story, is no story.
Best Regards
updraft SteveU.

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Steve, that was about thirty years ago. I know the owner used it for about five years[1] and really liked it. It was made in Germany or there about’s. At one time I had the patent on it but have no interest in trying to find it. I recall that the fire box had some kind of refractory with metal in the outside. Thousands of gallons of water in the basement, where the burner was. That is all I remember. Oh, he wanted/needed extra long wood, so maybe two to three feet. Do not recall the diameter of the fire box.

[1] The amount of time Dad supplied the wood.


Jeff I understand completely not remembering; or even having full system knowledge from back 30 years.

But did you understand me the no wood heating combustion devise is complete without a balanced functionable chimney?
Without something natural draft or motor driven pulling the expended combustion gasses out clean? Pulling in fresh 21% oxygen air?

You just posted quite accurately that a woodhauling vehicle no matter it’s GVW can only be as good and safe as it’s wheels and tires. So very true. 8-ply rating for me. 10’s better.

Same-same here.
It baffles me that everyone wants to talk engines&transmissions, and I’m saying what about the hold up safe and weight carrying safe wheels and tires. The chimney.
Any natural drafted combustion devises’ chimney.
I am more than baffled. I am shocked.
Down draft pulling those wanna’ rise straight UP combustion and post combustion gases needs a superior chimney system.

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I can not say for sure if it had a powered flue. My guess is that it needed it for start up. This old mansion was about three stories high with a tall roof. I’m sure it was a tall, tall flue. It was a commercial bed and breakfast downtown, right in the middle of a lot of law offices and close to the court house. So it must of had a well engineered flue. Well, I hope so - you know how that goes.

The old time truckers liked small engines and lots of gears. :yum: Keep a fella awake during long runs.


Oh, I remember watch a show about old chimneys. You know, real ones that do work. A person stuck a brick in it and the dang brick went right up that big old chimney. That really sucked.


Thanks. Excellent answer.

My Dad was his last 20 years a long/wide/heavy long haul lowbed specialty trucker.
He insisted on his Mack Maxidyne with it’s doubled up Spicer trans set up.
Dad? How do you handle those three levers? All in the touch, son. All in the touch.
Steve Unruh


I have a thirty foot long flue on my wood stove. Because of the convoluted smoke path I think at least that length is necessary. No problem getting the fire started each day even with no residual coals. But it is all updraft, natural convection. I have seen diagrams of peoples built in wood cook stoves with a smoke path that goes down, across the bottom of the oven chamber, back across the top and still seems to draft. Never understood that until I built the Rocket Mass heater. That is down draft, horizontal draft and then updraft and will work without a draft booster fan. That horizontal run is 15 foot long, makes a 180 and then back 15 foot to a 8 foot flue pipe. It won’t start without the duct fan on top of the flue pipe all though rocket heater purists would not use one. The run is probably a little long for a six inch diameter piped system. The barrel over the heat riser will show about 350 to 450 F when it gets running on it’s own. Add the 130 CFM fan and it will jump up to 650F in about a minute. By the time the hot gas goes through the thirty foot of duct that is buried in a bed of cob nearly all that heat has been bled out and flue temp will be around 90F. With the fan off, flue temp will be about 75F. Kind of amazing I think.


Talking about chimneys - my dad used to tell the story about this guy that was always really slow paying his bills when he had his new house built and then the mason knowing this, laid a piece of glass halfway up the chimney. Then on Christmas eve the guy was showing off his new house to guests and decided to light a fire in his new fireplace only to smoke up the house. He angrily called the mason who agreed to fix it in two minutes if the guy would produce payment for the fireplace - which he agreed to and the mason dropped a stone down the chimney. :laughing:


Hey ALL,
Want to strip out all of the drama back and forth, and topic drift on any long topic?
Or just be able to quick read?
It is made easy here on the DOW.
Go back up to the originators first post. Scroll wheel. R.H. slide bar up. Or R.H. slid bar just click on it’s top originating date.

At the bottom edge of the originators first post will be blue highlighted Read AS A Summery action button. One click and all superfluous will be stripped out. Just that topic’s meat&potatoes posts left.

Also handy to find there is all of the respondents listed on that topic string.
Then you can avatar there click them up. On that screen get an actionable summery of only their posts on that topic.
Neat huh, how this all works.

The way to keep sanity in an information overload world is to screen-filter your inputs to acceptable to you.

You are welcome
Steve unruh


Steve, I am glad you have good internet now at home instead of sitting at the library. Now you can find all this good stuff!


Now another technique to keep your blood pressure under control.
You absolutely hate a topic. A topic having nothing to do with wood, say.
You know, you absolutely know, to open and read it will cause your fingers to jump out, and mouth off, getting you in trouble . . .
But you like a particular responding person. Really want to see what they are saying . . .

On the live active all topics page. R.H. edge click on this latest respondance’s’ avatar thumbnail. Then on the short page that brings up. Click on the much larger avatar head picture. Then you open up a page with their recent ACTIVITES actionable word. One more click on that and you can select and read just their comment, NOT being drawn into that no-no for you topics stream.

Oh yes. Probably is a bit rude to the topics originator.
But hey . . . you are responsible for your own mental sanity . . .no others. Do what you must. Never let other easily push your mental buttons.

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cleaned wood boiler , brushed out boiler tubes . Started small fire , Made charcoal in bucket . Wind chill below zero . turned off propane . will put on more wood in half hour .

Found this today, really interesting designs. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTz8EmLnnFq7wpUmzrYRkIQ/videos


Hi Al,
Best i have seen for a long time…thx for sharing.
To take from that/this/those: simplicity , smart, functional designs, following good basic principles of combustion.
Most important to notice: requires operator skills and understanding… not for lazy attitudes…


This is inline with Jean Pain, and putting synergies to work. Always was interested in Jean’s work, built two compost heat pile versions.



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Start a topic about Jean Pain and your experience with your piles. Did you have coils of tubing in them?

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I second that. I know someone who has tried it without any real result. I’m sure her piles were too small. She is building a larger one right now. I’d love to mess with it but I don’t have manure and have never made hot compost. Mine Usually take about two years to break down really well.